Spread Good Cheer

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is an independent agency in the US that insures depositors of banks. Basically, if a bank fails, FDIC protects the depositors against the loss of their deposits.

During a project of publishing a book on how they resolved troubled banks during the financial crisis of the 1980s and early 1990s, they came across stories that were too good to not share. 

Here’s one story that I thought was a good fun story for this holiday season. 

The holiday season in Cordell, Oklahoma, did not start off on a merry note back in 1987. Just a month shy of Christmas, Farmers National Bank of Cordell failed. To make matters worse, Farmers was the third bank to fail in Cordell over the previous 18 months—this in a town that once boasted of being “the smallest town in the United States with three national banks.” 

At Farmers’ closing, FDIC staff noticed an asset labelled “turkeys” on the bank’s books. When asked about the entry, bank employees directed the FDIC staff to a cold storage locker filled with frozen turkeys—literally thousands of them. The records about the turkeys’ ownership were incomplete, but bank employees assured the FDIC that the turkeys had been repossessed.

The refrigeration system in the locker box was not too reliable, so there was concern that the turkeys would spoil before they could be sold. With the holidays drawing closer, the FDIC staff decided to spread some good cheer by donating the turkeys to a homeless shelter and food pantry in Oklahoma City. Christmas was certainly much brighter for many homeless people that year.

FDIC staff later determined that the turkeys were actually collateral for a loan on the failed bank’s books. The FDIC gave the borrower credit for the collateral’s value and settled the debt.

A fun little story you can share with friends and family this Christmas and New Year. DustyPaths wishes you happy holidays!

Here are more stories from FDIC

About The Author
Vinod Krishna

Vinod Krishna is a brand storytelling trainer and consultant at DustyPaths.
He brings 3 decades of experience in leading people, projects, and businesses
to forge new paths in brand storytelling.
He is an avid barefoot runner, trekker, theater artist, and photographer.
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